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Preaching to the Converted
on March 27, 2009
This book is 1/2 polemic and 1/2 "Constitutional Law for Dummies," and I appreciated the rich detail of original source material relating modern conservatism to the founding documents. Levin's overall thesis is well-developed (and one with which I agree), but he does make some leaps in logic and heads down the strawman and slippery slope path a little too much. An alarmist tone pervades this text where, perhaps, a cooler-headed analysis would have broader appeal to reader who are not already in agreement with Levin.
I was disappointed in his analysis that seems to portray liberalism as something like a sinister cabal, and that is a gross oversimplification. Most liberals, or "Statists," are genuinely well-intentioned people who are naive. Some of their leadership may be rather sinister, to be sure (Rahm Emmanuel, et al), but most liberals are really the fuzzy-headed, Donahue-type buffoons.
The basic message of this book is that an individual necessarily gives up as much liberty as he allows the government to take from him when he begins giving up responsibility for his own life, and that is spot on. However, it is doubtful that anyone other than a conservative is likely to find this book persuasive. What this country badly needs is a text that will bring others in to the fold.